Total Pageviews of Abscraft

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The power of Podcasting - mind mapping

So the idea of the first podcast has a theme now and it will be about the Story of Star Yachts. I have potentially got a writer on board who will help with the narrative as I have been learning that how the story is revealed is of vital importance. Can't show the full mind map as it has names of people and organisations I have yet to co-opt....but I am quite good at that. The Star Yachts exhibition will end on Sunday. We will be taking it down on Tuesday when the Williamson is closed to the public. This will give Anna, the new volunteer who is a writer and I - a chance to talk and plan.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018


So without my contemporary craftsperson hat on for this entry, I am embarking on a new MOOC with the University of Wollongong for my freelance press officer role and hope to explore PODCASTS as a new means to promote what goes on at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum and Birkenhead Priory which will hopefully be engaging in a different way to print media or direct emailing.

It is interesting when one posts online, one takes a certain VOICE and form of writing to give the venue a personality. All fine but when I go on radio or TV it is clear I "not be from round here" being a Scot relocated in Wirral. Will this be an issue? I know that on local radio there is a preference for a regional accent from the presenters but does this extend to guest spots? Will my enthusiasm and passion for my subject be enough to stop the confusion? Not concerned about having enough to say as that is one of the reasons I want to podcast - we have so much going on and in emails one tends to mention three things per e-newsletter, can I mention more?

Watch this space...

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Exciting new year ahead for Williamson

We start our year with a solo exhibition that has been five years in the making but only metres away from the gallery.

Painter, Steve des Landes has lived close to the Williamson Art Gallery for several years and won the Williamson Open in 2015. Despite showing his work elsewhere in Liverpool and London, he has not had a solo show in Wirral and we are delighted to open our involvement with Wirral’s 2018 Year of Culture and Creativity with his solo exhibition Un-settled. We are also proud to be part of Liverpool 2018, the beginning of ten years of culture, creativity and new visitors to the Liverpool City Region.

Adam and Eve by SDL
He has created the works for Un-settled, working diligently in his studio over the past five years. His work reflects his emotional journey from a childhood in coastal Southport and the significant influences of an urban adulthood in Liverpool and Birkenhead.

Colin Simpson, principal museums officer for the Wirral Museums Service who has curated this exhibition says of Steve’s work:-
“Constantly aware of the passage of time, Steve des Landes has developed and grown in the last few years of dedicated work, making paintings that continue to intrigue. They burrow into bizarre corners of life while appearing straightforward. The people shown live their lives, but there is always a feeling of another world not seen, shadows falling across the eyes betraying secrets, or at the very least thoughts, yet to be revealed. Nobody in these paintings is quite comfortable: therein lies their tension and their fascination. They are unsettled and they communicate their restlessness to us.”
SDL by James Deegan
It is clear, in preparing the exhibition that this marks a significant moment in his artistic life as a mature artist when he is saying “I am here, I am part of the community. This is who I am. It is unsettling but necessary”.
In addition to "un-settled" the exhibition programme opens with works from Will Penn and photographs of the people of the Williamson by photographer, James Deegan (including a portrait of Steve des Landes).
The Williamson is currently closed but will reopen on the 10th of January with "un-settled" opening to the public on the 13th of January. The galleries are open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, but staff shortages may necessitate early closure of some rooms at the end of the day.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Update from the Williamson

Exhibitions at the Williamson Art Gallery

Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am until 5pm (closed for Christmas and essential maintenance 24th December to 10th of January) 

Free but donations welcomed.
Run by Wirral Museums Service for Wirral Council, supported by Williamson and Priory Friends (charity)

Download the latest newsletter for the Williamson and Priory

After Durer

Animal Encounters 
The Animal Encounters exhibition brings together paintings, drawings, prints and objects from across the museum collection depicting animals in a wide range of settings. The selection may change from time to time, especially to include work by living local artists contributing to the theme.The conservation agenda of animals and their habitats will be woven into the exhibition with the support of the community team at Chester Zoo in Spring 2018. The exhibition will be used as a catalyst for our learning programme at the Williamson with schools, pre-schoolers and families.
Until 11th of November 2018

Not lost but gone before
“By Request”
“By Request” is an exhibition of oil paintings from our collection, chosen by our audience, during a consultation period in the Transformation Station. In Gallery Thirteen but will be relocated to Gallery One and will expand to reflect more choices. 
1st of December to 23rd of December 2017

Art Bloomers
On display will be work from 30 artists who attend the community art group who meet at the St James Centre of The North Birkenhead Development Trust. The exhibition opens on the 8th of December at the Williamson Art Gallery staying open until the 23rd of December and reopening after the festive season on the 10th of January, ending on the 28th of January

Tuscany 2017

An exhibition arranged through the work of  Edsential, who aim to encourage young people to explore their artistic and creative potential. Students from the Wirral, Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Warrington and Manchester, Cheshire East visited Italy in late Autumn to produce the work for the exhibition. While in Tuscany,  practical work ran alongside organised visits to see the works of the Italian Renaissance.  
13 - 23 December 2017 and 10 - 28 January 2018

“Un-settled” Steve des Landes solo exhibition 
Steve des Landes
The visual language that painter, Steve des Landes uses may be conventional and figures appear realistic and natural but the space is manipulated and contorted as are the figures, to tell the story. His paintings don’t merely show us a representation ofexternal visual life, his compositions, his figures portray tensions, emotional histories and past lives. Despite showing his work elsewhere in Liverpool and London, Steve des Landes has not had a solo show in Wirral and is pleased to be working with the Wirral Museums Service and Wirral Council as part of a year focusing on culture and creativity in the area, with his solo exhibition Un-settled. The Williamson is proud to be part of Liverpool 2018, the beginning of a celebration of ten years of culture and creativity that will bring new visitors to the Liverpool City Region.
13 January - 4 March 2018

Will Penn on exhibition (title to be confirmed)
Celebrating the life and works of William Charles Penn 1877–1968, fifty years after his death in the first of two exhibitions
13 January - 4 February 2018

People of the Williamson - photographic portraits by James Deegan
ABS by James Deegan
Photographic portraits showing the people of the Williamson and reflecting the the rich variety of people who are connected to the gallery, the museum and cafe. The first of two exhibitions from James - the second will look closely at the people of Oxton.
13 January - 4 February 2018

Dragons in the Pool
Rosa Fong from Edgehill University explores the little-known history of Chinese seamen who were secretly deported from the UK after the Second World War is revealed in an exhibition over Chinese New YearThe local community are invited to share their stories of the Liverpool Eurasian community. Chinese seamen began to settle in Liverpool from the end of the 1880s and by the start of the 20th century Liverpool had the largest settlement of Chinese in the UK.
9 February - 18 March 2018

Events at the Williamson

Family drop in workshops creating snow-globes and other festive fun forChristmasfree but donations welcomed. Supported by the Williamson and Priory Friends and P H Holt Foundation

2nd and 9th of December 11 -4pm

Wirral Holistic Care Services Christmas Concert
Please ring the Wirral Holistic Care Services centre for tickets @ £6 : 0151 652 9313 (Please note tickets are not available for sale in the gallery). Proceed go to WHCS
Sunday 3rd of December 2017 at 3pm

Books Banter and Booze
The theme for our fourth “book club’ that is not a “Book Club”,  is BOOKS I HAVE HATED. Our event is more like a cross between “A Good Read” and “Open Book” from Radio Four than a conventional book club where everyone reads the same book, offering an opportunity to sit down with other avid readers and talk about literature on a topic, not one book in particular. The discussion is facilitated but not restricted and tangents are welcome. We are experimenting with developing the two Thursday evenings in the month when we already have a group using the gallery as a meeting venue.

Vintage Christmas
The Williamson Cafe is celebrating Christmas in Vintage style. Join us for homemade mince pies, Christmas cake and festive savouries from 10 am until 4pm. The Jingle Belles will be performing vintage classes from 12pm and the cafe staff will be getting into the spirit of Christmas in vintage style
Sunday 10th of December 10 am until 4pm

The Mayor’s Christmas Concert
The gallery is playing host to several Christmas Carol concerts this year, including on the 14th of December at 7pm,  a seasonal sing-along for The Mayor’s Charity Fund. Join our current Mayor, Councillor Ann McLachlan with her musical guests, Off Pitch Choir from Calday Rugby Club and enjoy mulled wine and mince pies with all proceeds from tickets (£7), going to INCUBABIES for a new special care baby unit at Arrowe Park Hospital and for Merseyside Autistic Society.
ckets £7 available  from Wallasey Town Hall or by calling 0151 691 8527.

Taffelmusik/Wirral School of Music Christmas concert
Join with Wirral School of Music in their second Christmas concert at the Williamson Tickets available £10 for adults, 18 and under free from Wirral School of Music
16th of December at 3pm

Adult Classes at the Williamson

Our leader for our adult daytime art classes, Pamela 
Sullivan has released her dates for 2018 for sessions at the Williamson Art Gallery during the day on Thursdays mornings and afternoons, and Friday mornings. She plans to tie her themes into the exhibition programme for 2018.Start date 11th and 12th of January and run into March. The adult art classes as usual are £55 for the ten weeks which works out to be a bargain at £2.75 per hour. Payable in full in advance.
For more information on future classes, contact the gallery on 0151 666 3537 or

Monthly Life Drawing Class
Life drawing session at the Williamson Art Gallery within the exhibitions with model and tutor(s). 
£10 for class 6.30 - 8.30pm and there will be a special offer of £5 for mince pie and mulled wine from the cafe. Other food available from the cafe from 6pm. Please bring your own art materials, drawing board, sketching pencils etc or purchase them from ArtFix, our art supply shop. Next session will be the 11th of January

Monday, 6 February 2017

Miss Al - the Press Gal invites you to party at the Williamson Art Gallery

The Friendly Gala comes to The Williamson - no splatterguns allowed.
On the evening of Friday the 10th of February, there will be a ticketed VIP Gala at the Williamson Art Gallery to celebrate BAFTA’s Bugsy Malone exhibition coming to the North. The event is organised by the Williamson & Priory Friends and any profit made from the evening will be added to add to a fund to develop a garden space in the heart of the gallery.
The early valentine fundraising gala will be held from 7-10pm with a celebration of friendship and collaboration and as well as an opportunity to view the three current exhibitions on display in the gallery. On display are photographs taken by photographer, David Appleby behind the scenes during the filming of Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone forty years ago touring from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, followed by an exhibition of watercolours from The Atkinson Gallery in Southport with some fabulous pictures from our own collection including a lovely Turner owned by Ruskin and finally in gallery three, there is an exhibition from Mencap which features a collaboration between four Wirral based organisations working with local artists. 
On the gala evening, guests can enjoy the music of The Night & Days- a vocal harmony quartet, the Speakeasy Bootleg Band who play the irrepressible vintage sounds of the Gatsby era and can even join in with a Charleston lesson with dancers from The Mersey Swing CIC, or simply enjoy our excellent Steinway concert grand piano being played by the principals of the Wirral School of Music accompanied by saxophone. The event will have complimentary themed catering from Cheeki Chilli Events, including a cocktail or mocktail on arrival, popcorn and a pay bar. The gallery hopes many people will arrive in flapper style dresses or wide suits and trilby hats but encourage people to leave their splatter-guns behind. The gala guys and gals have been creating art deco artwork and props for the expect some creative surprises.

The low down:-
Date:10th of February 2017
Time: 19.00 – 22.00
Venue: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum,Slatey Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH43 4UE

Tickets: £20 available from the gallery (no booking fee) or from the Floral Pavilion box office – online, in person or by phone (booking fee applies).

Williamson Art Gallery & MuseumBugsy Malone : The friendly ...
Bugsy Malone – The Friendly Gala will be held on Friday the 10th of February at 7pm, full of music, dance and good company. S tep in and step out for one night only ...
More about the BAFTA exhibition: 18 January to the 25 February 2017 
Bugsy Malone: 18 January – 25 February 2017 | Williamson Art Gallery
The Williamson Art Gallery celebrate forty years since the making of Alan Parker's film BUGSY MALONE with a photographic touring exhibition from BAFTA.

More about the Tinted Steam and Liquid Light Exhibition:-
28 January 2017 - 19 March 2017
Williamson Art Gallery & MuseumTinted Steam and Liquid ...
Tinted Steam and Liquid Light – Waterolour paintings from Turner to Sargent from collections of The Williamson Art Gallery and The Atkinson.
More about the SmART exhibition - A learning disability collaboration project.
1 February - 12 March 2017